Dahlias and Denim

Another beautiful autumn day inspired Mr. Mickey and me to enjoy a lunch date in Blowing Rock, followed by a stop at The Eseeola Lodge‘s flower-lined parking lot on the way home. The grounds of the lodge are delightful in late summer.

I’ve always enjoyed animal print, but only as an accent worn away from my face in small doses. When I wear black, I try to add another softer color near my face, such as scarves, jewelry, a sweater, or a jacket.

My very comfortable attire for the day included a sweater-shell top and a denim jacket over black jeans. The casual look was completed with a black bag, statement necklace, and animal print shoes. None of my items are new, so I looked for similar ones. JacketShellJeansShoesBagNecklace.

My statement necklace is by Petra Meiren, a prominent jewelry designer from Germany. Several years ago, I found it at Caravans in the Grove Arcade in Asheville, NC.

When you look at my posts, I hope you get ideas and inspiration for using things you may already have in your closet. However, when you use my shopping links, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Susan, no matter if it is blowing in the wind or not, your hair always looks carefree and beautiful. I know there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to hair, but do you have a favorite hairspray, etc.? Thank you for your inspiring posts!

    1. Thank you, Carla. I use minimal products but occasionally use this spray to cut down on the flyaways. Be sure to brush it out as soon as it dries to avoid helmet head. Shampoo and conditioner are here, but I don’t wash it every day.

  2. Wow! One of my all time favorite outfits on you. The hair, the shoes, but especially those fab glasses! Youthful, casual yet classy, and fun!

  3. I also have to comment on your hair. It looks gorgeous! While I believe short hair can still be feminine, I’ve tried to grow my hair out several times over the past five years for a softer look. However, I get frustrated each time it reaches an awkward stage. Kudos to you for persisting!

  4. Hi Susan!

    It’s so nice to see you “smiling from the heart!”

    The gardens are astonishing.

    Love the denim jacket – I am enjoying fall color vicariously.

    Sending good wishes your way!


  5. You are just beautiful as are the Dahlias. I like the column of black and the leopard shoes. So classy. I may try to grow Dahlias next year. Glad you have a fun day.

  6. Cute and stylish! Love the simplicity of your style that appears to have cost you a lot. I enjoy the many options of putting basic pieces with other itemS.
    Suggestions for dining in Asheville for my upcoming trip would be appreciated. Lunch and dinner options are best. The Grove Arcade area will provide retail therapy!
    Thank you in advance.

  7. Your outfit today is so pretty. I especially like your denim jacket since it’s not the usual style of Jean jackets. The seaming is very flattering. I was just near Blowing Rock last week, and thought of your frequent visits to that area. We drove by Bodega’s at the base of Beech Mountain and I pointed it out to my friend as a place you recommend. She and her husband spend the summer in Seven Devils, but do venture out to surrounding areas to visit and eat.

  8. Susan you look lovely. Your hair is just right, I like it this long or a little shorter as you had it last time. But not longer.

  9. Really like this outfit, as. I pretty much do all your outfits. I have all these items in my closet, Similar jacket, tank and jeans. Think exactly same loafers as they look like my Sam Edelman ones and a coin statement necklace which I have several and collect coin jewelry..
    Thanks for your great classy ideas!!

  10. It is nice to see you making the most of the area by you. There is no need to travel far and wide to be happy, although getting away once in a while can be fun. Thank you for your posts. I look forward to each one.

  11. Thank you so much for all the ideas and guidance. I never thought of wearing my denim jacket over an all-black outfit! It’s cold here in SA and I felt this morning I was dressed too black… next time I will wear my denim with it! Thank you !

  12. Of course I get inspirations for clothing ideas, but I also love traveling with you and Mr. Mickey and enjoying your adventures. Thanks!

  13. I really like your longer hair. Can you show us a close up and tell us more about the cut? Thanks so much for all your lovely posts.

  14. AS ALWAYS THANK YOU FOR SHARING. WE lived in S.C. for over 40 years. When he retired he said since I followed him all over country I could choose our retirement state. Of course I wanted to come home RHODE ISLAND. Miss S.C. Really miss Asheville and surrounding cities in N.C.YOU and Mr. MICKEY stay well Yours sincerely, McGettrick

  15. Lovely!! I love your style, and you have saved me so much money in the past three years that I have been following you! I really think about purchases now, and make fewer clothing mistakes! Thank you! eEllen

  16. Good morning! I must say I’m loving your hair a bit longer, you’re looking much younger. I love your posts and appreciate your guidance. I’m much wiser, at 63, with my wardrobe than in years past. Take care. Those dahlias are amazingly beautiful!

  17. Such a cute and youthful look! I absolutely agree with no blackbaround the face at our age. It makes me look old and tired!

  18. Glad your Dad is doing better. Love the jean jacket. They are a staple in my wardrobe for sure. I own several in different colors. Thank you for the posts and what you are wearing now that fall is upon us. Hi to Mr. Mickey.
    Patty V

  19. Do you wear jeggings or crop jeggings? I am culling all crop jeggings And most jeggings. Any high waisted pants are not comfortable.. Did find jeggings at Chicos that fit at waist and 25″, which are perfect. And did purchase. Slim Ankle from Talbots are great. Hope I am making the right choice. I am 4’11”, 108, 82 years young. Do you think I am making the right choice?

    1. I don’t wear jeggings, leggings, or cropped pants because they are not flattering to my legs. Slim Ankle jeans are great! Make sure you aren’t covering up any of the length of your legs with your tops so that you make the most of your height.

  20. I love the black on black (or white on white) with denim. I’m 4’11” so the monocrome look for the undergarments really helps elongate the body. I also have several denim jackets and love wearing them this time of year.

  21. Hi Susan, loved this post and you look stunning, as always! I’m packing for a family holiday(from England) to Florida in late October. I have started to gather my basics. To see what goes with what. I have an old light coloured demin jacket and I never thought of putting them together. Great idea.
    Please keep this going as it is still so helpful.
    Kind regards
    Aileen Goodwin

  22. As some of the comments say about your hair I totally agree!! Love it a bit longer. I really would like to grow my curly hair but it seems to just get thicker. I’m going to give a go though. My hair is the same color as yours.
    Great pictures of the flowers. Beautiful. Thanks for the ideas to look in my closet.

  23. I am enjoying your outfits and tips and conversation – it is fun to connect with someone who has good taste and is trying to look very nice but not be 35 – lol keep up the good work!!

  24. Like so many of the comments today, I would like to add that I found this combination to be a great example of pulling together casual items to make a beautiful statement. I’ve been following your blog for several years and the benefits of adjusting my purchases and using the items I already own are really paying off. Not only have I saved money, but I have saved time and anxiety. I’ve learned to avoid those spur of the moment purchases and think in terms of adding items that blend with what I already own.
    Unlike so many of the sites on fashion today, your post have a timeless and yet current and fashionable appeal. I truly appreciate your suggestions and look forward to your post. Thank you for another great post.

  25. Thank you for sharing some lovely pictures. I always look forward to your post. Hope you and Mr Mickey have a wonderful fall.

  26. I love the look but the flowers are beautiful. My grandmother always had Dalias in her gardens so thanks for bring back those memories.

  27. Susan,
    I enjoy your outfits because they are versatile. The basic tops and bottoms can be worn with so many different looks with a change of a jacket/cardigan, shoes, and handbag. You have taught me so much about dressing well.
    The flowers are beautiful.

  28. Hi Susan, I concur with the other women here. I often substitute brown and camel for black as it suits my warmer coloring. I just wanted you to know that you inspired me to take a hard look at my lifestyle and eating habits a while back. Last month, my blood work showed that my LDL cholesterol was cut in half; my total cholesterol dropped by 60 points; and my HDL/LDL cholesterol now indicates a cardiac risk of HALF the normal risk. This is so important to me as I lost my father to a massive heart attack when I was 12 years old.. As much as I adore your fashion advice, your own story has inspired me. Would it be possible for you to share another post on what you eat in a day— especially now that you likely dine more often with Mr. Mickey? Thank you.

    1. Congratulations on your fantastic blood work results. Well done!

      Since we have different schedules, Mr. Mickey and I continue to dine together only during the weekend. However, we always eat primarily plant-based, may have a glass of wine, and share an occasional dessert. Thank you for the suggestion. I will post a “What’s in your pantry?” soon.

  29. Sometimes things work out for the best when they don’t go according to plan. I enjoyed reading the history about the lodge and the beautiful setting in NC. Thank goodness Hugh MacRae came to understand the lodge’s purpose from his initial vision. One of my favorite go to outfits in a column of black or white with my jeans jacket. I’m attending a plant-based class tonight and another next month in a two-hour class where we’ll get to sample vegetarian dishes and get to take home recipes to get us started. But I’m more than ready for your future post of What’s in My Pantry!

  30. Love, love, love the denim jacket. Your hair is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the brand of hairspray you use. Beautiful pictures!

  31. I have learned so much from your blogs. Thanks to your advice about your way of eating, I am now down to my ideal weight and have never felt better. Your hair is beautiful and I think that the longer length makes you look ten years younger! Love it

  32. Love the column of black with jean jacket and animal print shoes! What a great outfit! You look so happy & relaxed. All the photos were beautiful too. Hello to Mr. Mickey – you both inspire me to get my hubby off the couch and go somewhere!

  33. Please comment on your glasses. I also need to wear glasses daily and would appreciate you including information on the glasses you are wearing in your photographs.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.